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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Jethro
Yes it was Bennevis who made me go back to RCM 3. Thanks pal.
You're welcome, and apology accepted. grin
I can’t get my money back you know. You owe me a year of lessons.
I don't charge for lessons, as you know.

So, I can't owe anyone anything (not even nothing), and I've never earned a penny (or a 'dime' in US-speak) from music, whether as performer or teacher or lecturer.

I do it for the love of classical music........ whistle
I take the full blame for my weak mindedness.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I don't think its unreasonable for piano students to be interested in how well they are doing, and one major way of evaluating that is how they compare to those with similar years of study. It only perhaps becomes a problem if it's their main or only concern.
If that provides incentive to work harder then fine I guess. If it makes you feel bad about your progress then I suggest ignore the urge. It has no bearing on you as a budding pianist. We all progress at different rates. It’s the journey that matters and if you work hard you will eventually get wherever you want to go. If your answer is what if I want to go nowhere? Well then nowhere is where you will get to! It’s your choice but either way just enjoy the ride.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I don't think its unreasonable for piano students to be interested in how well they are doing, and one major way of evaluating that is how they compare to those with similar years of study. It only perhaps becomes a problem if it's their main or only concern.
If that provides incentive to work harder then fine I guess. If it makes you feel bad about your progress then I suggest ignore the urge. It has no bearing on you as a budding pianist. We all progress at different rates. It’s the journey that matters and if you work hard you will eventually get wherever you want to go. If your answer is what if I want to go nowhere? Well then nowhere is where you will get to! It’s your choice but either way just enjoy the ride.
I'm sure others feel very differently. Not all people think it's the journey that matters. And it's definitely not true that if you work hard you will eventually get where you want to go.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I don't think its unreasonable for piano students to be interested in how well they are doing, and one major way of evaluating that is how they compare to those with similar years of study. It only perhaps becomes a problem if it's their main or only concern.
If that provides incentive to work harder then fine I guess. If it makes you feel bad about your progress then I suggest ignore the urge. It has no bearing on you as a budding pianist. We all progress at different rates. It’s the journey that matters and if you work hard you will eventually get wherever you want to go. If your answer is what if I want to go nowhere? Well then nowhere is where you will get to! It’s your choice but either way just enjoy the ride.
I'm sure others feel very differently. Not all people think it's the journey that matters. And it's definitely not true that if you work hard you will eventually get where you want to go.
You really are a glass half empty kind of guy aren’t you?

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
If you are able to play a Chopin ballade, why would you want to go back to rcm level 3 ? And if you do anything at that level should be a piece of cake to play for you. In fact anything at level 10 should be easy. There are plenty of scales and arpeggios in Chopin, so i assume you can execute a C major scale at 40 bpm. I must be missing something.
I also wanted to chime in here. I was very similar to Jethro at my first lesson, and am still largely working on beginner pieces. The problem is what do you mean by being able to "play" a piece. Sure, I wouldn't struggle with playing anything under grade 8 at tempo. But playing it well is a different matter. It's not about the notes as playing the notes somehow is trivial. It's about how to achieve fluency in all of the microscopic movements so that the sound comes out as you want it to. This is not a wishy-washy statement a la "perfection is unattainable" -- there are clear things which need to be improved or relearned, which good teachers know about and can identify explicitly. Teaching these fundamental things is what a good foundational teacher should be doing, not just going through RCM books, which I think a lot of people can even do on their own.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sidokar
If you are able to play a Chopin ballade, why would you want to go back to rcm level 3 ? And if you do anything at that level should be a piece of cake to play for you. In fact anything at level 10 should be easy. There are plenty of scales and arpeggios in Chopin, so i assume you can execute a C major scale at 40 bpm. I must be missing something.
I also wanted to chime in here. I was very similar to Jethro at my first lesson, and am still largely working on beginner pieces. The problem is what do you mean by being able to "play" a piece. Sure, I wouldn't struggle with playing anything under grade 8 at tempo. But playing it well is a different matter. It's not about the notes as playing the notes somehow is trivial. It's about how to achieve fluency in all of the microscopic movements so that the sound comes out as you want it to. This is not a wishy-washy statement a la "perfection is unattainable" -- there are clear things which need to be improved or relearned, which good teachers know about and can identify explicitly. Teaching these fundamental things is what a good foundational teacher should be doing, not just going through RCM books, which I think a lot of people can even do on their own.
I agree. And that’s the difference between a beginner versus an advanced pianist or an amateur and a professional. I have very high standards when it comes to music especially since been a part of my life for 47 years. I might not have undergone the traditional and yes the correct route to learn classical piano properly in my youth but I do know what quality playing sounds like and I’m not there yet. Still quite the beginner in my book.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I don't think its unreasonable for piano students to be interested in how well they are doing, and one major way of evaluating that is how they compare to those with similar years of study. It only perhaps becomes a problem if it's their main or only concern.
If that provides incentive to work harder then fine I guess. If it makes you feel bad about your progress then I suggest ignore the urge. It has no bearing on you as a budding pianist. We all progress at different rates. It’s the journey that matters and if you work hard you will eventually get wherever you want to go. If your answer is what if I want to go nowhere? Well then nowhere is where you will get to! It’s your choice but either way just enjoy the ride.
I'm sure others feel very differently. Not all people think it's the journey that matters. And it's definitely not true that if you work hard you will eventually get where you want to go.
You really are a glass half empty kind of guy aren’t you?
Why the gratuitous insult?

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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sidokar
If you are able to play a Chopin ballade, why would you want to go back to rcm level 3 ? And if you do anything at that level should be a piece of cake to play for you. In fact anything at level 10 should be easy. There are plenty of scales and arpeggios in Chopin, so i assume you can execute a C major scale at 40 bpm. I must be missing something.
I also wanted to chime in here. I was very similar to Jethro at my first lesson, and am still largely working on beginner pieces. The problem is what do you mean by being able to "play" a piece. Sure, I wouldn't struggle with playing anything under grade 8 at tempo. But playing it well is a different matter. It's not about the notes as playing the notes somehow is trivial. It's about how to achieve fluency in all of the microscopic movements so that the sound comes out as you want it to. This is not a wishy-washy statement a la "perfection is unattainable" -- there are clear things which need to be improved or relearned, which good teachers know about and can identify explicitly. Teaching these fundamental things is what a good foundational teacher should be doing, not just going through RCM books, which I think a lot of people can even do on their own.
I agree. And that’s the difference between a beginner versus an advanced pianist or an amateur and a professional. I have very high standards when it comes to music especially since been a part of my life for 47 years. I might not have undergone the traditional and yes the correct route to learn classical piano properly in my youth but I do know what quality playing sounds like and I’m not there yet. Still quite the beginner in my book.
I think 999 out of a thousand pianists, based on the rep you post, would not call you a beginner even if you don't play the pieces particularly well. Most would not even say you are just an intermediate. Why you insist on saying this is rather bizarre, I think.

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That’s not an insult it’s by the nature of your posts it seems like you often take a pessimistic viewpoint. There’s nothing wrong with being a pessimist. Without pessimists how could there be optimists? There’s no judgement by me saying that. I’m sure your a great guy, maybe I’m wrong and don’t be insulted please but whenever I read your posts you have the inclination to take the contrary viewpoint. I think you enjoy that and that’s all good. Maybe that’s more the truth of it. Your less of a pessimist more a contrarian.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sidokar
If you are able to play a Chopin ballade, why would you want to go back to rcm level 3 ? And if you do anything at that level should be a piece of cake to play for you. In fact anything at level 10 should be easy. There are plenty of scales and arpeggios in Chopin, so i assume you can execute a C major scale at 40 bpm. I must be missing something.
I also wanted to chime in here. I was very similar to Jethro at my first lesson, and am still largely working on beginner pieces. The problem is what do you mean by being able to "play" a piece. Sure, I wouldn't struggle with playing anything under grade 8 at tempo. But playing it well is a different matter. It's not about the notes as playing the notes somehow is trivial. It's about how to achieve fluency in all of the microscopic movements so that the sound comes out as you want it to. This is not a wishy-washy statement a la "perfection is unattainable" -- there are clear things which need to be improved or relearned, which good teachers know about and can identify explicitly. Teaching these fundamental things is what a good foundational teacher should be doing, not just going through RCM books, which I think a lot of people can even do on their own.
I agree. And that’s the difference between a beginner versus an advanced pianist or an amateur and a professional. I have very high standards when it comes to music especially since been a part of my life for 47 years. I might not have undergone the traditional and yes the correct route to learn classical piano properly in my youth but I do know what quality playing sounds like and I’m not there yet. Still quite the beginner in my book.
I think 999 out of a thousand pianists, based on the rep you post, would not call you a beginner even if you don't play the pieces particularly well. Most would not even say you are just an intermediate. Why you insist on saying this is rather bizarre, I think.
See.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sidokar
If you are able to play a Chopin ballade, why would you want to go back to rcm level 3 ? And if you do anything at that level should be a piece of cake to play for you. In fact anything at level 10 should be easy. There are plenty of scales and arpeggios in Chopin, so i assume you can execute a C major scale at 40 bpm. I must be missing something.
I also wanted to chime in here. I was very similar to Jethro at my first lesson, and am still largely working on beginner pieces. The problem is what do you mean by being able to "play" a piece. Sure, I wouldn't struggle with playing anything under grade 8 at tempo. But playing it well is a different matter. It's not about the notes as playing the notes somehow is trivial. It's about how to achieve fluency in all of the microscopic movements so that the sound comes out as you want it to. This is not a wishy-washy statement a la "perfection is unattainable" -- there are clear things which need to be improved or relearned, which good teachers know about and can identify explicitly. Teaching these fundamental things is what a good foundational teacher should be doing, not just going through RCM books, which I think a lot of people can even do on their own.
I agree. And that’s the difference between a beginner versus an advanced pianist or an amateur and a professional. I have very high standards when it comes to music especially since been a part of my life for 47 years. I might not have undergone the traditional and yes the correct route to learn classical piano properly in my youth but I do know what quality playing sounds like and I’m not there yet. Still quite the beginner in my book.
I think 999 out of a thousand pianists, based on the rep you post, would not call you a beginner even if you don't play the pieces particularly well. Most would not even say you are just an intermediate. Why you insist on saying this is rather bizarre, I think.
Yet by the nature of this post one could say your being an optimist in regards to my playing lol. So my apologies for the pessimist comment, but the contrarian I stand by.

Last edited by Jethro; 12/07/21 10:57 PM.
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sidokar
If you are able to play a Chopin ballade, why would you want to go back to rcm level 3 ? And if you do anything at that level should be a piece of cake to play for you. In fact anything at level 10 should be easy. There are plenty of scales and arpeggios in Chopin, so i assume you can execute a C major scale at 40 bpm. I must be missing something.
I also wanted to chime in here. I was very similar to Jethro at my first lesson, and am still largely working on beginner pieces. The problem is what do you mean by being able to "play" a piece. Sure, I wouldn't struggle with playing anything under grade 8 at tempo. But playing it well is a different matter. It's not about the notes as playing the notes somehow is trivial. It's about how to achieve fluency in all of the microscopic movements so that the sound comes out as you want it to. This is not a wishy-washy statement a la "perfection is unattainable" -- there are clear things which need to be improved or relearned, which good teachers know about and can identify explicitly. Teaching these fundamental things is what a good foundational teacher should be doing, not just going through RCM books, which I think a lot of people can even do on their own.
I agree. And that’s the difference between a beginner versus an advanced pianist or an amateur and a professional. I have very high standards when it comes to music especially since been a part of my life for 47 years. I might not have undergone the traditional and yes the correct route to learn classical piano properly in my youth but I do know what quality playing sounds like and I’m not there yet. Still quite the beginner in my book.
I think 999 out of a thousand pianists, based on the rep you post, would not call you a beginner even if you don't play the pieces particularly well. Most would not even say you are just an intermediate. Why you insist on saying this is rather bizarre, I think.
See my post, it's not about the rep. If you can't play something at an intermediate standard at a professional level, you will often still be considered a beginner (by professionals at least). This holds even if you can hack your way through a few hard pieces.

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Has anyone noticed that the OP has not revisited this post since posting their question on Dec. 1st, or even logged onto PW? I have stopped responding to queries for these reasons -

1. We don’t know anything about the OP, their abilities, goals and motivation.
2. The OP never responds to your comments.
3. The OP is asking a question they have an answer for and are seeking validation from others to confirm their answer.
4. The thread gets derailed and takes a 180.
5. Bickering ensues.

We’re all on different paths. Enjoy your path but don’t expect others to follow you on it.



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Yep Ranjit. You play Fantasied Impromptu. Do you consider yourself an advanced player? Enlightened perhaps. I play the Busoni Chaconne. Am I advanced? Nope. That would be an insult to professionals.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
I also wanted to chime in here. I was very similar to Jethro at my first lesson, and am still largely working on beginner pieces. The problem is what do you mean by being able to "play" a piece. Sure, I wouldn't struggle with playing anything under grade 8 at tempo. But playing it well is a different matter. It's not about the notes as playing the notes somehow is trivial. It's about how to achieve fluency in all of the microscopic movements so that the sound comes out as you want it to. This is not a wishy-washy statement a la "perfection is unattainable" -- there are clear things which need to be improved or relearned, which good teachers know about and can identify explicitly. Teaching these fundamental things is what a good foundational teacher should be doing, not just going through RCM books, which I think a lot of people can even do on their own.


Well, I think you are touching to another topic which is how to evaluate the level of a player. Of course when I use the word "play" it means performing at a certain level of fluency and musicality. If one is playing a piece with many false notes, articulation issues, lack of fluency, .... that would not qualify to say that the person has reached the corresponding level. I think I am stating the obvious.

Of course there is a wide grey area re the threshold to say that a piece is played well enough or not. But that is inherent to any artistic and many non artistic activities.

Now re what strategy to take to progress, the benefit of playing very difficult pieces even if not well vs a more gradual approach, those are teaching strategies and I am not an expert to comment on that.


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Been playing for around 6 years, I can play any basic pop song perfectly, but I'm still struggling a bit when a piece has very fast arpeggios and/or a wide keyboard range, like Anime piano music that would be a bit "classical" for example. But I'm pretty close.


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Originally Posted by Jethro
That’s not an insult it’s by the nature of your posts it seems like you often take a pessimistic viewpoint. There’s nothing wrong with being a pessimist. Without pessimists how could there be optimists? There’s no judgement by me saying that. I’m sure your a great guy, maybe I’m wrong and don’t be insulted please but whenever I read your posts you have the inclination to take the contrary viewpoint. I think you enjoy that and that’s all good. Maybe that’s more the truth of it. Your less of a pessimist more a contrarian.
Contrary to what you say has nothing to do with being a pessimist. And some of my post agree with people and others don't.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by ranjit
I also wanted to chime in here. I was very similar to Jethro at my first lesson, and am still largely working on beginner pieces. The problem is what do you mean by being able to "play" a piece. Sure, I wouldn't struggle with playing anything under grade 8 at tempo. But playing it well is a different matter. It's not about the notes as playing the notes somehow is trivial. It's about how to achieve fluency in all of the microscopic movements so that the sound comes out as you want it to. This is not a wishy-washy statement a la "perfection is unattainable" -- there are clear things which need to be improved or relearned, which good teachers know about and can identify explicitly. Teaching these fundamental things is what a good foundational teacher should be doing, not just going through RCM books, which I think a lot of people can even do on their own.
I agree. And that’s the difference between a beginner versus an advanced pianist or an amateur and a professional. I have very high standards when it comes to music especially since been a part of my life for 47 years. I might not have undergone the traditional and yes the correct route to learn classical piano properly in my youth but I do know what quality playing sounds like and I’m not there yet. Still quite the beginner in my book.
I think 999 out of a thousand pianists, based on the rep you post, would not call you a beginner even if you don't play the pieces particularly well. Most would not even say you are just an intermediate. Why you insist on saying this is rather bizarre, I think.
See my post, it's not about the rep. If you can't play something at an intermediate standard at a professional level, you will often still be considered a beginner (by professionals at least). This holds even if you can hack your way through a few hard pieces.
Now you've changed the discussion to how professionals would describe someone's level. But I am certain that 999 out of 1000 professionals would not agree with your statement which I would describe as outrageously unreasonable.

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(continued from my last post)It's a given that, for example, an intermediate level pianist will not be able to play an intermediate level piece as well as a professional. But the idea that this means they are not an intermediate level pianist is something very few pianists, amateur or professional, would agree with. Same for advanced level pianist.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
(continued from my last post)It's a given that, for example, an intermediate level pianist will not be able to play an intermediate level piece as well as a professional. But the idea that this means they are not an intermediate level pianist is something very few pianists, amateur or professional, would agree with. Same for advanced level pianist.

Doesn’t it depend on how poorly it is played? Yes, amateurs are not expected to play as well as professionals. But if a student hacks his way through an advanced level piece with a lack of musicality snd full of missed/ghost notes, he will be considered a beginner who is looking for a brag piece.

To play musically at an appropriate level is much more respected than to struggle with music that is too advanced.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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